9/11 Memories

I had only been blogging for about five months when 9/11 happened and it was still very exciting and fresh and intimate. There were a lot less of us in those days and the connections felt very strong and direct. This was why reading about the events of 9/11 through the eyes of my newly acquired American friends had such impact and none more so than the following post form Doc Searls which he has just re-linked to today in memory of the events:

Walking back from a meeting at school this evening, the kid and I looked up at the sky, as always. But it was … different. What was that behind the high branches of an Oak tree? A star or an — no, it couldn’t be an airplane. There were no airplanes in the sky tonight. Only stars: a condition we haven’t seen in nearly a century.

“Why aren’t the planes flying, Papa?” he asked. I explained. He asked again. I explained again. I stopped the questioning when the count got to four.

But it won’t stop.

One thought on “9/11 Memories

  1. I was in Philadelphia on 9/11 and shared the experience directly with American colleagues and friends; a perspective for which I’ve always been grateful. Two particular memories from the following weekend, when I kept planned appointments in Boston and travelled through the heart of New York by train, with a direct view in the early evening across to the Manhattan skyline.First: Donald Rumsfeld, no less, on television asking what for me is still the key question: "What have we done to make people hate us so much?". At the time I was (and am) convinced that he meant it just as it reads; though it wasn’t long before it turned into a rhetorical question with the answer "Nothing!"Second, in church in Cambridge on the Sunday, someone said "We should pray for the parents of those who did this. They’ve lost children too." It may be impossible to approve of what was done; but empathy and understanding, and action to change what can and should be changed in ourselves – alongside all the security precautions – are essential to prevent it happening again. As someone else said, in an entirely different context: "You can’t redeem what you don’t understand".And of course a technical comment. Despite the loss of a major hub in the WTC, the Internet remained the best way to get messages home. Just as designed, it didn’t go down.


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